Holiday scams that will be donning your inbox soon

Every year someone falls for something that is just too good to be true. Make sure your users are up to date on the latest social engineering scams this holiday season.

scam opener
AndYaDontStop (Creative Commons BY or BY-SA)

Ho-ho oh no

Just like Santa, cybercriminals are busy making their toys. It’s a great time for IT to remind employees the poisonous gifts that were given last year. It’s likely you’ll see them (or some form of them) again this year.

The holidays are notoriously stressful and many people have a tendency to ignore red flags, so as a timely reminder you can save an individual, employee and company a lot of additional suffering.

Here are some of the top scams - and this time of year is good to be alert for these.

Ad Poisoning

Ad Poisoning

Cybercriminals fool the ad network into thinking they are a legit advertiser, but the ads which are displayed on major websites are poisoned.

amazon phish mail (Creative Commons BY or BY-SA)

The Amazon Phish

Cyber criminals are attacking Amazon users with a phishing campaign that falsely claims a small number of accounts have been hacked.

Ashley Madison Extortion
REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Ashley Madison Extortion

Unfortunately, your data was leaked in the recent hacking of Ashley Madison and I now have your information. If you would like to prevent me from finding and sharing this information with your significant other send exactly 1.0000001 Bitcoins (approx. value $225) to the following address:

dislike facebook

Facebook dislike button

At a Sept 15, 2015 Town Hall Q&A session at Facebook headquarters, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that for years users had been asking about a 'dislike button', and that Facebook was finally working on such an option.

Well, scammers all over the Internet jumped on this and came out with a multitude of scenarios trying to lure users to "get the new dislike button" in their profile.

aylan kurdi
REUTERS/Paul Hanna

The Syrian Boy

Lowlifes are exploiting the recent picture of 3-year-old Syrian boy Alyan Kurdi. He drowned while attempting to reach Greece with his family and other refugees.

The picture is used for a variety of scams, Facebook spammers to start with. Their goal is to get as many Facebook likes as possible for their pages, which are called "like-farming scams".

Star Wars Movie Tickets

Star Wars Movie Tickets

Warn your users against phishing attacks that try to trick them into winning movie tickets for the new Star Wars movie.

Business Email Compromise

Business Email Compromise

There is a 270 percent spike in victims and cash losses caused by a skyrocketing scam in which cyber criminals spoof emails from executives at a victim organization in a bid to execute unauthorized international wire transfers. According to the new FBI report, thieves stole nearly 750 million in such scams from more than 7,000 victim companies in the U.S. between October 2013 and August 2015.

To see more information on each of these scams, head over to this story.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.